Cannes Q&A: "Pirates" director Rob Marshall

Fri May 13, 2011 3:58pm EDT
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By Gregg Kilday

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Having established his directing bona fides with screen adaptations of the musicals "Chicago" and "Nine," Rob Marshall steps into the action arena for the first time with Disney's big-budget summer sequel "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." He spoke to THR about the film prior to its Cannes premiere on Saturday.

The Hollywood Reporter: What was your first reaction when you got the call to directed the latest installment of "Pirates?"

Rob Marshall: I was thrilled, because I'd always wanted to work with Johnny. We had mutual friends in common, and people had said to me, you'd be a wonderful team together, you'd really enjoy each other. Secretively, I've always been interested in adventure, action, something for the family. As a director, you want to constantly change it up, you want to have variety in your career and not do the same thing over and over again. So I was excited about the idea of doing a different kind of genre.

THR: "Pirates" is an established franchise. Did you have any concerns about how much creative input you'd be able to have?

Marshall: The most important thing for me was to take a look at the script. I saw how I could have my entrance into this world, because the script was a completely new story with so many new characters that I felt it was the beginning of a whole new storyline and a whole new beginning for pirates. That gave me a great deal of relief that I could find my way into the material.

THR: Both Johnny and producer Jerry Bruckheimer are strong personalities. How did you all negotiate your roles?

Marshall: They were incredibly welcoming, and that was another reason why I was excited to do it as well. They weren't looking to replicate what they had done before. They were looking for new blood, a sort of new take on things. They were excited to hear what I had to say. I never ever heard the words, 'Well, we've done it this way.' Ever.

THR: You were responsible for bringing Penelope Cruz on board?   Continued...